Maite Mola: "If prostitution did not exist there would be no trafficking of persons"

Maite Mola: "If prostitution did not exist there would be no trafficking of persons"

Maite Mola, vice-president of the Party of the European Left (EL), and veteran feminist, participated, in the Ateneo of Madrid, in a debate on November 21st “against the trafficking of women and minors for the purpose of sexual exploitation and its consequences".


She did it within the framework of the commemoration of November 25th, international day against gender violence. She spoke of human trafficking in Europe, and presented a bleak picture: in the past three years trafficking in Europe has increased by 28%. And by the time the number of victims grows, the number of traffickers convicted has decreased by 17 %. The reason is that the trafficking of persons for the purpose of sexual exploitation "is a very lucrative business”. “In these mafias respectable politicians, distinguished bankers, entrepreneurs… are involved and they do not want to end with it, as for them the profit is of importance, and not the regards about “the goods to be sold", explained the representative of the EL in this public event.

The crisis, with its austerity policy, demolishes all rights, and it is also demolishing the rights of women. Maite Mola explained that as eating is the main problem nowadays; equality issues are relegated and receded.

Meanwhile, each year, more than four million women enter into the "market" of prostitution. Most of them come from poor countries or countries in war. She added that the economic crisis has also provided "market of flesh” in Spain and in Greece.

Along this line, it was argued that the social vulnerability is the main cause of trafficking in human beings, and that it stems from economic and social factors such as poverty, gender discrimination, armed conflict, domestic violence, dysfunctional families… "And the international networks of organized crime are benefiting such vulnerability to facilitate the migration and to harshly exploit people through the use of force, threat, coercion, or various forms of abuse such as debt bondage."

She provided data from the UN, according to which between 1990 and 2000, only in Southeast Asia, 33 million women were victims of trafficking, and three times more than in all the trafficking carried out in four centuries of slavery.

The Vice President of the EL denounced the arguments on regulation of prostitution existing in countries such as Germany and Denmark, which consider prostitution as a voluntary job like any other. Mola stressed that we are facing a political affair, not a private one, and she strongly positioned herself in favor of abolition:  “If it did not exist prostitution would not exist trafficking in persons for the purpose of social exploitation" explained Vice President of the Party of the European Left. She defined such trafficking as "a form of, mostly, male sexual violence against women and girls which are treated as an object, as a commodity that can be bought and can be sold".

Maite Mola advocated in favor of demanding Governments and the European Union "to adopt the necessary measures to eradicate prostitution, by modifying the legal existing standards, if it is necessary, for prostitution to be regarded as extreme form of violence against women". She also recalled that there are good European directives on trafficking in human beings and how to eradicate slavery in our times, but they are not being fulfilled.